Monday, May 20, 2019

The Shortest Straw

Drawing the Shortest Straw: Chosen to do a task that nobody wants to do (read here --> leading Human Resources)

They Have No Idea
The unknown pressure of leading HR.

The toughest, most confrontational roles.

The most intense issues to address...investigations, harassment, discrimination.

Terminating others. It's not just getting rid of a 'problem'...you just stopped someone from earning money to provide for their family.

The pressure to 'fill the jobs' when we know the leaders bear just as much responsibility to create cultures where their team members feel valued and respected.

The demands to develop an effective team of leaders.

The responsibility to build a positive culture across the entire organization.

The necessity to not only understand HR, but to also fully understand the business, revenue streams, and expense management challenges.

The need to have a comprehensive and competitive compensation program.

The expectation that the organization will remain union-free.

Oh, yes, and make sure all of the parties are fun.



How About You
Did we pull the shortest leadership straw? 

Hell, no. 

We drew this straw because the others can not handle what we can handle.

Take pride in being a leader in HR. Take pride in being a leader in your organization.

Take pride every time you hear "I could never do your job." They're absolutely right. They never could.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Gotta Go

I've recently had the privilege to speak at several #DisruptHR events in Atlanta and Tampa. My talk focused on the potential for human resources leaders...and candidly, all leaders...to take risks, live their values, and lead with conviction.

That's what is most important, right?

HR Stuff Matters, But...
It's not that updating policy manuals, going to the Forms Committee meeting, and ensuring open enrollment goes smoothly aren't important. But, these things don't drive business results.

Living your values, and leading with conviction do.

When was the last time you led with your personal values first...and corporate double-talk last?

Take the Step
One of the things I found so encouraging during those DisruptHR events was the energy the attendees had to make changes. They are ready to move forward into new territory in their organizations. 

They are ready to go for it.

How About You
Are you ready to join them? What is on your list that seems impossible to execute, but with some support (from me!) and some courage (from you!) it can become a reality?

You gotta go for it!

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic
title

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Hear the Silence So Loud

I'm taking a different look at leadership today...in a very personal way. I am grateful to have such a supportive community to share my perspectives. Thank you friends.

----------------------------------

I am a proud member of Hyde Park United Methodist Church (an open, loving community of faith that welcomes every person) and lifelong member of the larger United Methodist Church (UMC.) My father spent his career as a Pastor in the UMC serving high profile large churches that made an impact in their communities. He was deeply committed to his faith, and I am forever grateful that the passion he and my Mother shared for Jesus was instilled in my sister and me.

Earlier this year, as many of you are aware, the larger UMC held a special session of General Conference to decide if we as a denomination were going to be an inclusive faith community or not. 

Specifically, to decide whether or not we were going to fully embrace our LGBTQ brothers and sisters as full and equal members of our denomination. Sadly, for a variety of reasons, the vote to follow Jesus’ message of love and inclusion failed.

Friends, I am struggling with this outcome. I am struggling more than I ever have as a United Methodist.

Struggling almost sounds too meek…too soft to fully explain how embarrassed I am about our larger church. Consider the message to the outside world…we proclaim to have open hearts, minds and doors, and continue to push this message across multiple platforms. 

Yet, we’ve in effect slammed those same hearts, minds and doors shut in the face of people who simply want to worship God just like we do.

How is this possible in 2019?
I recognize that not everyone shares my beliefs; however, I cannot reconcile in my mind that people can proclaim to have the power to make decisions about ordination, love and inclusion as if they were equal to God. 

People do not have the authority to make such decisions, only our God can do that. Do these men and women believe they actually speak for God?

Such hubris!
"The inaction from General Conference…
...the silence… has become the loudest noise 
in the history of our denomination."

As I continue to struggle with the shame I feel that this vote has brought upon the larger UMC, I have considered several options…the most important of which is to remain a United Methodist and fight for the justice that I know one day will come.

I want to be part of the solution.
I want to be a voice that refuses to be silent.
I want to be a part of our UMC family when ALL people will know God’s love.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Expected Perfection

How much latitude do you have in your job to make mistakes? Seriously, do you feel nervous or anxious about it (beyond the normal frustration of overlooking something or making a small error)? 

Are you supposed to be superhuman at work and never make a mistake?

Fail Quickly! Ha!
Okay...let's just stop right here for a minute. Quick show of hands, how many of you get excited about failing really quickly with your new ideas in front of your leaders and employees?

Anyone? Hello?

Right. Neither do I.

Sure, I get the whole "go for it approach." I've spent years trying new things. 

However, I've been able to lead that way because I worked in this organization and now work here and both places afforded me lots of flexibility to be creative, succeed, and yes, sometimes fail without repercussions. 

It's that last part - without repercussions - that often stands in the way of failing quickly as a good thing.

Never Fail
When the world thinks you're supposed to be perfect...every time...how do you survive? 

How do you dare to push and twist and turn and risk and gamble on new ideas to stay competitive and relevant if you're going to be punished if you fail?

Three steps is what it takes.
1. Use language that aligns to your business, not human resources. Demonstrate why your idea adds value to the business, not some lame HR jargon filled spiel.

2. Know what you're talking about. Don't throw around terms and strategies you don't fully understand. Be confident.

3. Act with conviction and do it. Don't be timid or scared.  Behave as if the other skeptics in the room are out of touch, not you. Take the risk. Don't worry if you're alone. That's how this works.

How About You
Don't you think it's time you pushed that idea forward that you've had rolling around in your head for so long? I do too. Get your plan together and go for it. If you want a sounding board, call me at 727.809.4425 and we'll talk through it.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic

Friday, April 19, 2019

Faith, Values and HR

Wait, what?

I know what you are thinking. We can not talk about our faith in the workplace! That's crazy talk! We are going to get complaints, the employees will be in an uproar, and we might even get sued!

Um, let's just slow down here for a minute.

Leave Your Personal Life at the Door
Have you ever heard this phrase? Have you ever said it to an employee? When was the last time you walked into work and shut off every single part of your life outside of work?

I know the answer. Never, that's when.

Regardless of your faith perspective (if you have one) this seems like one of the most absurd (and candidly embarrassing) management messages to send..."leave your personal life at the door."

Our lives are not broken into convenient little pieces.
There is no work/life balance.
There is only life balance, and our faith is
a big part of that journey.

Live the Values
If we pause for a moment to consider what most of our corporate values say (and let's be honest, most are very similar) they focus on treating people well, doing good work, living with integrity, etc.

Hmmm, those sound curiously similar to the core tenets of most world religions. 

So, as we ask our employees, our leaders, and ourselves to 'live the values' of our organizations in everything we do; are we also asking everyone to shut off their faith that implores us to 'live that faith in all we do' at the same time?

I'm no longer buying that premise. How does one pray each day, participate in the life of their faith community, and then walk into work and turn their back on all of that because "it's just business?"

That simply does not make any sense.



How About You
Will I now be preaching the gospel during team meetings? Of course not. 

But will I pretend that I don't have faith, or act as if I'm such a "good man of business" that faith and values don't really matter? Absolutely not.

What is your take? I know this is a complicated and important issue.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Role Models

I think about influential people a lot. Not the flash-in-the-pan 'Youtube sensations' mind you, I'm talking about actual role models. Real people who've done incredible things with their lives. 

Who Are These People
It strikes me as somewhat counterintuitive that many of the most famous role models (at least to me) are ordinary people, who felt called to take risks, stand up for what they believed in, and in some cases, put their lives at risk.

Normal people like you and me, who somehow transformed their lives into something so impactful...it can be difficult for us to wrap our heads around their accomplishments.

Here are a couple of mine...

Dietrich Bonhoeffer - a German theologian and pastor whose incredible conviction, sense of purpose, and strong faith led him to oppose Hitler, and ultimately, be executed by the Nazis in the last week of the war.



This is a fabulous book about Dietrich that my Mother gave me several years ago. Check it out and be inspired.

My Parents
This may sound like an obligatory mention, but I can assure you it is not the case. I am blessed to have parents who never stopped raising their voices when injustice was being done in their community or world; and also instilled values in my sister and me that all people matter.

Yes, all people. Regardless of their faith perspective, color, sexual orientation, or station in life. Their values, that spilled over to us, were clearly behind this post from last year.


Their tireless work throughout their respective professional careers (and now Mom's retirement) dealing with race relations, poverty, women's rights, and support for oppressed people continues to be both humbling and inspiring.

How About You
Who is on your short list? Who are the people that shaped your life and helped make you who you are today? I have more on mine...but as always...

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.
Bonhoeffer pic

Monday, April 1, 2019

Visions In My Head

We all see the world in one way...our way. We convince ourselves we're seeing it the right way too.

Oh sure, we also claim to be open-minded, and willing to walk in other people's shoes too. Hahahaha...sure we do.

Lens? What Lens?
Here's my dilemma...despite my powerful self-talk machine that "tells me" I'm open-minded, I find myself wondering if that is actually true. 

Or, at least, true enough.

Think about that for a second. You've spent your entire career in HR proclaiming to be open-minded, and as it turns out you're just like everyone else. 

Your lens is firmly strapped on, and that is the way you see the world.

Time for the Humble Pie Buffet
How exactly does one figure out if their world view is much more limited than they previously believed? How much courage does it take to ask and find out?

Whoa! Not sure I'm ready for that.


But if I'm going to be effective, I need to be a lot more open to feedback from those that I trust. (see this post about your Personal Board of Directors to learn more.) 

What might we learn if we ask those closest to us for their honest take on who we are? Are we ready for that feedback? More importantly, are we prepared to make the changes necessary to align our talk and our actions?

Heavy stuff.

How About You
When was the last time you took a step back and critically evaluated your 'open mind?' 

Is that too scary; or, could it be a moment that leads you to new ways of thinking, working, and leading?

I'd love to hear from you.


No Excuses.

pic